Chris Eldridge

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Banks of the Ohio

Playing Melody Whilst Accompanying Yourself

Solo flatpicked guitar can sound surprisingly rich and full. It is possible for us non-fingerpickers to play a melody whilst accompanying ourselves. And perhaps the best part is that it's actually pretty easy. The secret is getting the up/down flow going in your right hand mechanism so that you can switch between playing single notes and playing a gentle arpeggiated rhythm.






Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chris Eldridge
Banks of the Ohio
Bill Monroe
Doc Watson
Joan Baez

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Melody

Loop 0:49 How to Flatpick a Melody with Rhythm

Loop 7:50 Practice Loop of Melody in Isolation

Loop 8:28 Slow Example of Melody and Chord Practice Loop

Loop 10:47 Practice Loop of Melody with Rhythm


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 11:22 Closing Thoughts and Outro





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Darren Jul 20, 2016

This any better? I personally like the bobble head I've added in for visual effect haha! geeze

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jul 21, 2016

Yes, sounds great! That's a fully legit reading of the song. One thing that I personally would do differently (so take this or leave it) is I probably wouldn't emphasize the upstrokes and their corresponding beats quite as much. But it's very musical and well executed. Great job!

Darren Jun 21, 2016

 Used some stuff from the next lesson while singing. 

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 22, 2016

Sounds like music to me! One thing that you can do to make it a little more interesting is include the higher strings in the melody accompaniment as well. Notice in my version at the beginning of the video how I'm using all 6 strings. Maybe a better way of thinking about it is that you can use notes that are above and below the melody. That way you frame it a bit more.

Andrew Podolski
Andrew Podolski Jan 17, 2016

Hi Chris,

I just joined the site and worked throught the Banks of the Ohio lesson.  Here is my recording of it.  I tried to position my laptop camera so you can see my right and left hand.  Please let me know how I can improve.


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jan 21, 2016


That sounds very good! The main thing I would focus on integrating the melody into the rhythm and vice versa. That's something that I really strove to learn to do on songs like this: make it so that melody and rhythm kind of blend into each other and so that the seams  between the two aren't distinct. You did this really well at 0:13-0:15. Try to make the rest of it as seamless. Keep up the good work!


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